Research performed by Bausch & Lomb this past summer revealed that many people are using strange substances instead of contact solution to keep their lenses moist. Products such as baby oil, beer, coke, Vaseline, lemonade, fruit juice, butter as well as others were all listed as substitutions that were used, by twenty percent of the two thousand adults surveyed in the United Kingdom.
Even more of those queried reported that they use saliva when putting lenses in their eyes. Considering we know that the mouth of the average adult is known to contain 500 to 650 varieties of microorganisms, this is clearly not a good idea. Further, far too many people assume that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a suitable alternative for lens solution, but even those may contain microorganisms that can damage the eye and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening infection. In fact, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while your lenses are in, it's recommended to take out your contacts as soon as you can and thoroughly rinse them so no bacteria can get trapped to the surface of your eye.
Sterilizing your contact lenses is critical and only approved lens disinfectants should be used. It's dangerous to store your contacts in water! Keeping your contacts in water isn't effective in sterilizing them and dangerous fungi can gather on your lenses almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. Further, lens solution is balanced to match the acidity of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your lenses may stick or change shape.
At times that you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contact lenses, definitely use one-use contact lenses rather than resusable lenses. Be sure to consider way of life when you are deciding between daily disposables and reusable contacts.
Don't forget failure to properly clean and disinfect your lenses with proper contact solution can lead to serious harm or even complete blindness.